Friday, December 20, 2013

More on the Brazilian fighter contest

I said a couple of days ago that Brazil's selection of a Swedish fighter, instead of a US-made plane, was directly attributable to the NSA snooping scandal, and I expanded on that yesterday.  Now Reuters confirms the direct link between that scandal and Brazil's choice.

Rousseff had spent the first two years of her presidency edging closer to Washington, fending off pressure from leftist elements of her Workers' Party and scheduling a rare state visit to the White House for last October.

Snowden's documents, many of which were published by Brazil-based U.S. journalist Glenn Greenwald, revealed that Washington had spied on Rousseff's personal communications, those of state-run oil company Petrobras - which Rousseff once chaired - and countless Brazilian citizens.

Rousseff could not understand why Washington would spy on an ally with no history of international terrorism, aides said. She reacted by canceling her White House trip, despite attempts by U.S. President Barack Obama to ease her concerns, including a one-on-one meeting on the sidelines of a G20 meeting in Russia.

This week, she made a decision she believed would hit the United States where it hurt most - its pocketbook.

Defense analysts struggled to recall a major contract decided on such grounds.

"The irony is that we expected politics to play a big role, but always on the selling side, not on the downside," said Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace analyst with the Teal Group. "Then things went horribly wrong with this NSA story."

. . .

... a person who had been pushing for Boeing angrily questioned whether the intelligence obtained from Rousseff's communications justified possibly losing the deal. "Was that worth $4 billion?" the person asked rhetorically, speaking on condition of anonymity.

There's more at the link.

Congratulations, NSA.  Quite apart from your blatant wrongdoing, you've just cost the US economy $4.5 billion on this contract alone - not to mention the billions already lost in sales of US computer hardware and software.  If this goes on, you'll be directly and immediately responsible for losses in excess of a hundred billion dollars over the next year or two.  I hope you think it was worthwhile . . . and I hope Boeing sues you to recover what it can of the income it lost on this deal.



perlhaqr said...

and I hope Boeing sues you to recover what it can of the income it lost on this deal.

Please pardon my implied French sir, but seriously, "F*** that!"

If the NSA had any money of its own, that would be one thing. But since every penny of that settlement, and the lawyers fees, would be coming out of my pocket and yours... No. Just no.

Paul, Dammit! said...

Peter-There's a question in my mind about whether or not this whole thing was a fait accompli. Rousseff was a marxist revolucionário (well, we use another word now, in post-9/11 America, but I digress), with a documented distaste for anything smelling of America. Like all executives in Brazil's state-run resource harvesting businesses, she was an appointee, and her position as the former president's enforcer prior to that was her In with the right folks anyhow. As the most corrupt western nation today, this is just business as usual in Brazil.
The NSA business may have been icing on the cake and/or exhibit A as presented to the court of public opinion in Brazil, wedged in between the 20 hours a day their tv is dedicated to soap operas, but regardless, it was a complete fustercluck for us, and proof-of-concept for her POV, which may or may not have been carried out at the order of former President Lula, her patron and the power behind her public persona.

Now they just have to figure out how to power Eurofighters with ethanol or coal.

Old NFO said...

Typical of the machinations that go on in major acft procurements... NSA aside..

Anonymous said...

Paul, it could be that the NSA provided the excuse for Roussef to over-ride the military for what might have been their desired purchase.

Just a guess, of course, but the "why" of these decisions are quite often speculative.


emdfl said...

Why wouldn't obumf*** and his commie handlers be dancing in the oval office at the idea of the US economy taking another four billion dollar hit. (And trust me, by time the whole deal was done there would have been a lot more than 4 billion changing hands.)